The NWA is being foolish as the hurricane season approaches

Mark Wignall

Thursday, July 25, 2013

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I spent many months agitating for the underground culvert to be cleared after it had become clogged and compacted by debris (for about four years) allowed in through two drains on both sides of the downhill roadway that had no metal grating over them.

Because of the blockage, during heavy rainfall, water found its way through a manhole cover on private property and flooded six rooms of an apartment, forcing the residents to move out. It was not that they had not tried to get the voice of the 'authorities'.

The head of the household affected thought that she had finally scored a goal when, about two years ago, work was given to clear out the almost solid debris and soil clogging the underground culvert. She was soon brought back to reality when, long before the job was completed, work stopped because 'money run out'.

When I got involved a few months ago...

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The irony in all this is that the NWA has done excellent work on a roadway that for many years was always in a state of horrible disrepair, what with the passage of heavy rainfall during hurricane season.

In another few weeks or so, we will be approaching that part of the hurricane season where sea surface temperatures in the western coast of Africa and the Atlantic/Caribbean, just a few degrees north of the equator, will begin to warm up. As the seas warm and water evaporates and rises and that phenomenon melds with dust storms off the Sahara, we will have to learn to live with dangerous cyclones or hurricanes coming our way. It is not if, but when.

Most of these systems have rainfall that does much more damage than hurricane winds. For that reason I must confess that I am at a loss to understand why the NWA would make such a decision if decisions on matters such as what I am writing about follow some logic.

Although the country is constrained by funding for works on our roadways, extensive for our square footage, there are areas which have been attended to by the NWA. We appreciate that and know that in our lifetime our roadways will never, ever be in an acceptable state of maintenance. We live in an underdeveloped country and we must accept poor road conditions, because that is part of the package for being underdeveloped.

I take pride in the fact that I have agitated in the pages of this newspaper and got results in having major potholes fixed, gully walls repaired and I am particularly proud of myself for leading the media charge (with the support of residents), in having the KSAC institute a 'no heavy-duty' vehicle policy on the 'Cassava Piece' Road.

I have been trying to determine the exact contract figure issued by NWA for the particular piece of work on the Swain Spring Road culvert, but that is an impossible one as the two figures that I have gleaned are in the ratio of two to one, a huge differential. That said, I am hoping that between the MP, Paul Buchanan, and NWA, good sense will prevail and funds will be found for installing the metal gratings.

Congrats to my Father on his 93rd birthday

It doesn't happen all the time that one's father reaches the ripe old age of 93, so today I am asking readers to 'see with me' in congratulating my father on his birthday.

When I was a youngster, a man of 40 was considered old. After that we were told that 'life begins at 40,' and who better to say that than a man who knew that he would never see 39 again?

Increasingly, the 'new old' shifted and on the global scene in places like Japan and many European nations, people began to live longer, thus forcing those economies into devising ways to deal with a new approach in geriatrics and the overall socio-economic cost of significantly more people living into their 90s.

It is said that stress is a major killer but, 'clean living' cannot be ruled out. What constitutes 'clean living'? To me it must mean attention to food consumption and getting sufficient physical activity, but that elusive culprit known as 'happiness' must be at the top of that roster.

What is it that brings about happiness? In his working days my father was a master electrician and I can remember him always drawing electrical diagrams which he seemed to enjoy. He eventually developed deafness from spending too much time (over 20 years) working in the engine room of a tugboat, which sometimes spent months outside of Jamaican waters.

In my father's innings of 93 not out, he was ably supported by my late mother who passed away eight years ago, making a splendid score of 79. Daddy absolutely loved Mama and apart from him never being a drinker or smoker, he loved to attend the movies and take us kids with him. In its simplest form, Mama made Daddy happy.

To all individuals, especially my father, Darrell, who are in their 90s, you have done well. You all need to tell us what it is you did that kept that killer called stress out of your lives.

observemark@gmail.com

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